Nintendo Direct Mini Proves That Marketing is Changing
Few video game companies generate fan excitement quite like Nintendo. From animated exhibits at E3 to quirky video presentations staring former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, the Nintendo community embraces the unorthodox. Despite a peculiar approach, one constant throughout the industry is the frequency of Nintendo Direct presentations. But 2020 remains full of surprises. On Monday, fans expected the first major presentation since September 2019; however, Nintendo revealed another change: the Nintendo Direct Mini Partner series. Let’s dive in.
The Winds of Change
Transparency across the video game industry is almost nonexistent. Developers and publishers strive to control narratives by anticipating fan reactions to new information. As a result, marketing strategies attempt to balance excitement with incomplete details. Furthermore, companies relegate engagement with video game fans to larger events, such as E3 and other venues.
Nintendo dramatically altered the landscape with its Direct presentations. No longer reliant upon community events, Nintendo set its own marketing calendar by connecting directly with its fan base. For nearly a decade, fans have enjoyed the periodic reveals, which included first-party, third-party, and indie games.
But with the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017, things began to change. With the influx of indie games on the hybrid console, Nintendo made the strategic decision to segregate information relative to smaller studios into a new series called Indie World. Fans concurred with the decision as they focused more on first-party and AAA reveals.
Three short years later, Nintendo is once again altering its marketing approach. As fan anticipation for the first Direct of 2020 grew, Nintendo debuted yet another series: the Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase.
The Way of the Future
To say fans were disappointed is an understatement. From negative Twitter reactions to cynical YouTube videos, the community vehemently expressed its displeasure. Not only did the Nintendo Direct mini fail to meet expectations, fans are concerned about the future of the presentations. While the company has not released an official statement, Nintendo appears to be shifting to a more transparent and segmented approach.
- Standard Nintendo Direct presentations could only include information concerning first-party titles.
- Indie World shows will continue to feature smaller studios.
- Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcases will concentrate on AAA third-party games.
- Game-specific Directs, such as Pokemon and Super Smash Bros., will focus on comprehensive analysis of popular first-party series.
Segmenting information provides greater transparency; however, Nintendo fans have proven to care less about third-party games. The question that remains is whether the aforementioned plan will translate to the greatest number of sales. Change is difficult, but focused information could alleviate fan dismay. While the staff at GamingROI is skeptical, Nintendo has a proven record of success.
But we want to know what you think. Do you believe that changing to the Nintendo Direct mini format is the right marketing strategy? When do you think Nintendo will release a first-party Direct presentation? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on Pokemon, Modern Warfare, Capcom, Blizzard and more.
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